US firm ecoATM to bring recycling kiosks to the UK

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The firm has recycled more than 19 million devices over 10 years

US environmental trade-in company ecoATM hopes to launch at least 1,000 of its Gazelle recycling kiosks in the UK by the end of next year, its CEO has revealed.

Speaking at the product launch, Dave Maquera added that the company hoped to grow further into Western Europe, bringing 7,000 kiosks to the region in the next four years. There are currently 18 kiosk sites across London and the Midlands.

UK users are aware of the importance of being environmentally responsible, said Maquera. “The UK consumer also really knows what a smartphone’s value is, so can make good decisions about where to get remuneration.”

Green Alliance estimates there are up to 125 million unused mobile devices in the UK.

ecoATM has 3,500 kiosks in the US, where it has recycled more than 19 million devices over 10 years, with no resultant landfill.

Using advanced robotics and AI, kiosks can assess the value of a user’s phone and pay them money through PayPal or bank transfer on the spot.

The phones are then either recycled for their parts or sold back to consumers if in a good enough condition. ecoATM has its own website for resale in the US, but is hoping to partner with pre- existing sites in the UK.

Maquera said: “We are talking to all the major UK resale partners and we will narrow it down. We don’t feel we need to [have our own website] in the UK because there are enough and they’re interested in working with us.”

He added that the growth of the refurbished phone market makes it an ideal time for expansion.

Maquera is also hoping the company can establish its European HQ in London and has hired former Vodafone senior commercial manager Nick Buckland as general manager for international development. The first continental targets for expansion are France and Germany.

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